There is a great possibility that more waste will end up in landfills in the UK after a no-deal Brexit, BBC reports. This deal may disrupt the flow of millions of tons of waste to facilities in the EU and as a result will most likely end up in landfills. The devastating effect of the deal will not only leave an environmental mark but it may also add extra costs on councils.
The Environmental Agency has already issued a statement which prompts waste disposal companies to find different methods of disposal. Oconnorswasteremoval.co.uk, London’s leading rubbish removal company, has already planned ahead and is offering alternative disposal options in case any disruption comes about due to this predicament. However, there is still a high level of concern from the local authorities and the majority of councils are rating this problem as medium or even high risk in their Brexit contingency plan.
The UK’s waste industry has already issued a warning and predicts that the more the rubbish coming form the more densely populated areas in the South East will most likely have to be sent to landfills in the Northern side of the country. As of now, three million tons of waste are exported from the UK to the EU annually to be recycled or used as refuse-derived fuel.
The Southampton City Council has already taken certain measures as they predict that port delays may occur due to recycling banks and waste transfer stations become too full. This also brings us to the main concern that the UK is having and that comes with black-binned household waste. Due to port congestion, this type will most likely be prevented to leave the shores as it was previously sent to facilities in Germany, Holland or to Scandinavia.
Suez also predicts that this will cause the UK to miss out on their current waste management targets. They are predicting that environmental performance indicators will be lowered as more waste is put to landfills. They even go on to say that a short term, much less a medium-term alternative solution is currently impossible to find.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs actually says that the current situation is still much better than a year ago. They have managed to negotiate and continue the disposal of rubbish to some individual regulators within the EU.
Certain councils have already started implementing their short term risk plans to alleviate the situation. One of them includes stockpiling bin bags and wheelie bins. Some have even added new lorries. Sevenoaks Council even came up with an idea of a temporary sate for the gathered waste while Milton Keynes council asked if the current sites are capable of accommodating more waste for the time being.
More sustainable solutions suggest building more domestic energy waste plants. However, this one might take too long to implement so short term solutions need to be used for the time being.
The government still plans to respect the Circular Economy Package issued by the EU which will limit 10% of household waste going to landfill by 2035. They plan to do so even after Brexit. 20% of the gathered waste is currently being sent to landfill which is still a major improvement from 80% of the junk which ended on landfills in 2001.
The Environmental Agency still expects that most councils will properly execute contingency plans that meet environmental standards at the same time. They also expect them to take appropriate action no matter the situation.